Game 9: Michigan at Northwestern Recap


Yeah, the concern is that Brooks has been susceptible to turnovers when asked to be the primary ball handler. If we him to come in because we need someone else the defense will guard behind the arc, that’s great. But as you say - we probably need to look elsewhere for someone to take the ball up the court.


Agree completely that the first-step-before-dribbling travel is very inconsistently called and unfortunately as I said I think the refs were looking for anything to throw Collins a bone after he went bananas in one of their faces. Is that travel called in a different scenario? Hard to say but I would wager the stripes had eagle eyes on that possession.


Brooks handles the ball quite a bit. He is averaging 18 minutes per game over 9 games and has 7 turnovers. I will repeat that. Brooks has 7 turnovers.


I mean, his turnover rate is 1% lower than Simpson on half the usage. Acting like there isn’t a step backwards in this department is fine, it’s just not supported.

People have complained about his decision-making…I haven’t seen that. But I think he’s susceptible to traps, and his dribble isn’t the tightest.


Brooks is our backup guard. I would expect the starting guards to be steps ahead of our backup. They are.


My post was in reference to the idea of removing Simpson in late game situations for Brooks as a continued practice should Simpson continue to not be guarded. I pointed out that Brooks suffers from a proclivity for turnovers by comparison - ie, that there is a cost to the benefit of his shooting, and that we will need to work around that cost (by having someone else (Poole?) take the ball up the court). Do you disagree with that?


I appreciate that you are looking at in terms of a cost benefit analysis. My pointing out that Brooks only has 7 turnovers was not meant to be a refutation of you and it was actually not even directed specifically at you. I agree that Brooks is not as good of a ball handler as Z or Poole. I am just offering a reference point for Brooks ball handling. That is, if we are going to run with the “Brooks is not a good ball handler” narrative, as some have put forth (maybe not you), then we should keep 7 turnovers in 9 games in mind.

I think we should keep in mind that he is a sophmore who seems to lack great confidence, as well. Because I think he will gain confidence and make better decisions just as a result of more playing time.


There are definitely ways to take advantage of teams who don’t want to guard Simpson. First of all, he might be more comfortable shooting off the catch instead of off the dribble. If that’s the case, it’s as simple as passing the ball to a wing and getting it right back for a three. Even better, you can put Simpson in the corner (or wherever his favorite spot on the floor is).

An unguarded offensive player can also set screens extremely effectively. On-ball screens could give one of our wings momentum toward the basket with Simpson’s man in unfamiliar territory, and off-ball screens could free up one of our better three point shooters.


Good idea to use him as a screener.


Exactly! As weird as it might sound having Z set screens and cutting to the basket (even if it is not for a layup) might be extremely effective, especially if we have 4 other guys on the court who can shoot 3’s.


This. Or bring the action and defender to him in pnr. If the defender sags off him to go below the screen drive and kick. Or put him in the corner and run action opposite him to see if he can slide up for a cleaner shot. Straight away being disrespected like that seemed to take him out of his aggressive mindset. Heck, maybe even spread everyone out and have Z drive towards the dropped defender to force them into an action that maybe he can use as an opportunity to penetrate.


Yes, seriously. Just like Beilein, Dylan, and others have noted he’s not missing wildly on shots that have no chance. Many of them rim out or are on target, but long. It’s not like these are air balls or hitting the side of the backboard.


Article mentions Davis’ issues defensively, but I would add to the discussion his inability on the offensive end as well. Michigan has been able to ward off any major runs by opposing teams through scoring. UM limits transition opportunities not just by limiting turns but also defensive rebounds. With Teske or Livers at the 5 our offense scores enough to keep the majority of defensive possessions in the half court. Pardon playing big in combination with Matthews foul trouble meant Livers couldn’t play the 5 and our offense cratered with Davis in the game. Domino effect, was the greatest onslaught of transition basketball Michigan has faced this year, and a huge NW run.

This year has been weird (in a good way), given we’re seeing big wins in the non-conference and seemingly not a ton of room to improve as season goes on. The small, and mostly defined rotation also seems like unfamiliar territory for Michigan teams in November/December. I think we need to see Davis and/or Johns get a lot of minutes with just a couple more tune-up games left. Somebody needs to emerge. Teske will have foul trouble games, and can’t play every minute anyways. Teams with a 230+ pound center will force JB to use someone other than Livers.


We could always just post Z up down low. At this point I have supreme faith in z-abdul-jabbar-simpson’s ability to hit those hook shots. :slight_smile:

He can probably pass pretty good out of the inevitable double team too.


I was just thinking maybe Simpson could perfect the 3-pt hook shot. Just because no one’s ever done it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.


Video and some screen grabs of how Northwestern was defending Simpson in the Five Takeaways.


In other words, they have about the same turnover rate.


I am a little surprised that we havent been using Livers at the 5 in order to create mismatches, and have instead mostly just been using him to react to other teams’ small-ball 5s. I get not throwing Livers out there at the 5 in last night’s game because Pardon was feeling it and even scoring over Teske on the block. But if Davis and Johns continue to struggle, I’d like to see Livers get some minutes against tradition bigs–even if it means giving up some post scores in order make their traditional big guard a 5-out look–even just to spell Teske for 10 minutes.


If you assume that turnover avoidance is scaleable as usage increases, which is an assumption we don’t really make for any other skill, sure.


I think Beilein is protecting him in his public statements. You don’t have to miss wildly to be a bad shooter.